How much trust do you put into MBTI? | INFJ Forum

How much trust do you put into MBTI?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Neuro, Nov 16, 2013.

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  1. Neuro

    Neuro Rid of Me

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    Just a thing that have been popping into my mind every now and then :) Curious about how much trust people who are interested in MBTI actually put into the theories.
    Do you feel MBTI is 100% accurate and flawless and follow it rigorously, or is it something with the theories that bugs you / that you just agree with loosely? Please explain.


     
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  2. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    not much at all. It's a rather abstract metric, and as Carl Jung said: "Every person is an exception to the rule."
     
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  3. NaeturVindur

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    I consider MBTI to be a good descriptive framework. It provides some nice, tidy boxes to put people in. But I don't believe those boxes represent any real distinctions, as in they're not caused by any distinct phenomena and they don't really describe any phenomena beyond what it initially measures.

    However, I do believe in the Introversion/Extroversion scale, as it exists in every personality measure ever, and is predictive of actual, over all, brain functioning.
     
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  4. Rcs6r

    Rcs6r Must be the feeling~
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  5. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I don't think I would make any important decisions based on it, so I guess I don't trust it at all.

    It's nice for casual explanations and bringing people together to talk about something, and it can give insights to how things might be, but the fact that some people seem to use it undiluted in relationships and even the workplace is a bit scary to me.
     
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  6. barbad0s

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    I think there's definitely something to it and to the cognitive functions and it's just one lens of many when looking at possible ways to interpret and understand people. I only loosely agree with the premise of the MBTI personality descriptions, and do not really agree with the methodology behind the MBTI personality test, however. But I think I disapprove of the misuse and misinterpretation of the descriptions more than anything, which, granted, are pretty easy to misuse and misinterpret.
     
  7. Red Alex

    Red Alex Regular Poster

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    I find MBTI interesting because I think a person's MBTI can change over periods of time. I believe that it tells some truth about person's interests and preferences at the time when it was taken, provided that the answers to questions were truthful. I don't see it as a fixed defining factor for one's personality. I think that the test shows the truth about Introversion/Extroversion.
     
  8. Mary Shelley

    Mary Shelley Fearless & Powerful

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    I use type more like a map. It doesn't change the terrain--it just helps me navigate. It mostly describes things I've already noticed. Other people argue the validity of the map while I'm standing at a location staring at the map of the same location.

    Some people have trouble utilizing theory that is theory. I often wonder how these people deal with the cognitive dissonance of living in a world where Hiroshima was really bombed with a "just a theory" atomic bomb and lives have been saved with vaccinations and antibiotics based on other things that were "just a theory." But what puzzles me the most is why these theory deniers gravitated toward typology in the first place and stay here despite their own naysaying.
     
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  9. Shaqie

    Shaqie The Grandmaster in Disguise

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    69.2345313% trust ...

    ... yes ... I calculated it!
     
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  10. Grayman

    Grayman Community Member

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    I think it does well in defining certain patterns of thought. I don't believe in the dominant binary type of thinking that it structures. I don't believe in thinking being separate from feeling. I believe that some people feel more and some people are less emotional as we always believed before MBTI tried to teach us different. In this case Te is Fe and Ti is Fi on a sliding scale of emotional intensity with Ti/Te being the lowest intensity and Fi/Fe being the highest. Introvert and extrovert is also an interesting idea I have other theories about its validity also.

    I do think that Intuition and sensing is a real thing, in respect to physical structures in the brain. There are very specific separations of intuition and sensing in the brain but emotions are ingrained in all of your brain. Logical thinking is simply a construct of numerous specialized parts of the brain that all people have and the emotions break into those parts with certain inhibitors to limit interference. Thinking without emotion cannot exist because if you did not value something there would be nothing to think about.
     
  11. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    Not much. As an abstract spectrum of personality it's one of the best. That's no great accolade as most other personality theories I've come across are rubbish. The MBTI does have merit but some people take it far too seriously.

    I've seen it used to explain illness, both mental and physical, religion and even a person's physical appearance.
     
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  12. SealHammer

    SealHammer Flying Quesadilla

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    Consider that the people who put the most stock into type theories as anything other than "hey this is an interesting thing" also practice or show interest in practicing astrology and other mystic garbage.
     
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    #12 SealHammer, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  13. Red Alex

    Red Alex Regular Poster

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    I don't think so. Many people with a degree in psychology/psychiatry consider psychological theories as a God-given and only valid approach for explaining human behavior, emotions and interactions, but they don't believe in astrology/metaphysics/that kind of stuff and have no interest in it.

    If you were referring to people who don't have a degree but show a lot of interest in psychology/type theories, don't disregard that some of them (I don't know how many) consider psychology to be an exact science like physics, but they think that everything mysticism-related is crap. I met a guy who was exactly like that. Scientific type, a physicist who placed much value into psychological theories, but didn't believe in any sort of mysticism. It's just a matter of what you choose to believe in.
     
  14. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    It was shown to be about 70% accurate according to personality psychologists.

    personally; MBTI gives great insight into the intrinsic aspects of person's personality. Mainly what is "comfortable" and "feels right" for the person about the attributes and characteristics they see within themselves. It also presents the person's level of development or lack of development on their functions.

    The functions should always be thought as a scale of continuum and not a fixed state for the person to be in.

    If a person who feels comfortable being an introvert decides that their life may improve if they consciously develop extraverted tendencies in certain situations; then the person will learn to shift between the continuum of being introverted and extraverted and can choose which state or function they choose to use in any given situation which will enrich the persons life more.

    The problem lies when people think MBTI is a fixed state that cannot be improved upon or changed; this is mainly due to fear. The introverted person can be defensive in their desire to develop out of introvertedness and cling to this function because of the belief that this is who they are. The introvertedness maybe the natural comfortable space of the individual but it can also work to limit the person's life experience because not every life event or situation will call for introvertedness. But the same way an extraverted person can develop even small amount of introversion so they can learn to be alone or learn something about themselves by being alone. Both can work to serve an individual if they choose it. Being on the extreme end of the continuum is always going to be problematic and the person may miss out of many possible life events by identifying only with their natural function. This is not to deny that person will need to abandon introversion; on the contrary; the person will have the capacity to use both functions as situations call for and not be afraid of situations that may require the opposite function of what is natural.

    MBTI is a great springboard in the journey to understand one's self but I feel that it is only a beginning and there are many practices and psychological tools for an individual to grow into the best version of who they can be if they see MBTI only as one small aspect and not an entirety that can answer many questions.
     
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  15. Gaze

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    It can be helpful tool for understanding how people think. If the differences are real, meaning that they have biological and cognitive bases, then it explains a lot. On the other hand, that same reason can cause it to be used to determine every single thing about someone's behavior, implying that we don't have control over our own actions or thoughts. It can also imply that we can't change which is one of the biggest issues with the whole theory. How does someone know their natural preferences when they've been socialized a world with so many different and contrary influences. If you do something in a particular way repeatedly over a period of time, it becomes a habit. It becomes like second nature. How do you then know that it's not natural when it feels that way? I also disagree with the feeling/thinking dichotomy. I too often find that what people don't understanding about motives or reasoning gets easily shoved into "they're just a feeler" vs. those who are i.e. logical are shoved into "thinker" categories. Everyone values feeling and bases their decisions on their feelings. The human mind is complicated and has many things which affect reasoning and behavior. This simplistic explanation is problematic. It all too easily assumes we know or understand who people are based on classifying them in these narrow black and white boxes. It also encourages us to think we are more or less smart depending on what categories we fit (I found myself buying into this). The test is also not culture fair or neutral. Cultural values and beliefs can be a major influence on whether someone values feeling vs thinking or intuition vs. sensing. I've noticed how often people ignore this aspect of personality typing. The system is not entirely objective. For one thing, we need to quit treating researchers with overarching universal theories as gods and seeing their theories as infallible. If we do that, then we can see the theories for what they are, helpful frameworks which are not permanent or deterministic. I am guilty of falling into this trap of buying into the theory wholeheartedly. But you live, you learn, and then get luvs! :)
     
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  16. sassafras

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    I have a respect for the typology as a theory as I do recognize that there are common threads in people's patterns of thought and behavior. I do think there's something to the cognitive functions as an organizing factor.

    Personally, I enjoy mulling about the structure and seeing the interconnections within the theory. When I'm in that mode, it's easy for me to forget that MBTI is about individuals and identities rather than just variables in a complex system. Even though the theory is about people, I often end up depersonalizing it.

    When my mind kind of snaps back from my mental sandbox and into the real world, however, I begin to see the problems in application. Asides from observational biases and the limits of my understanding of the theory, I am highly aware that people express themselves in a much more complicated ways. What's going on on the surface is just a limited snap shot of what's going on underneath. Your accuracy in typing someone largely depends on how well they fit the typical portrait of a type and even then, I'd say you're lucky if you're 70-80% correct. That, and I find that making up your mind about someone's type also opens you up to certain biases and prejudgements that may hinder your communication with them.

    I don't apply MBTI in real life and if I do, it's never from any conscious effort on my part. I limit my typology-speak and typing exercises to the forums to people who can talk back to me if I've mistyped them or who can check my blindspots. I also just like talking about the theory itself. Application doesn't interest me as much.

    TL;DR: I think the theory is awesome and there's definitely some truth to it, but applying it is difficult and faulty... especially at a 'glance.' As such, I don't put a lot of stock into it in its use.
     
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    #16 sassafras, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  17. Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    The MBTI was scientifically reviewed and dismissed in the 1970's (I think) because it has little predictive power, despite some peoples' opinions to the contrary. The test itself is too dichotomous and simplistic. In reducing people to binary terms, it did not accurately adhere to Carl Jung's personality system. The type codes, INFJ, INTJ, INTP, ENTP, etc, are merely shorthanded symbols for patterns of phenomenon that are much more complex and nuanced than the test allows for. An INFJ, for instance, is not just an emotional introvert with a neurotic preponderance for making character judgments: it is an individual who uses a static mental configuration - Ni-Fe-Ti-Se, in this case - in a dynamic, evolutionary manner to organize, interpret, and apply information such that they may effectively navigate life. Everyone possesses a particular flavor for each of the functional classes; it's just a matter of which ones and to what end. Unfortunately, Jung's theory is so qualitatively expansive that verification of personality is, at the moment, impossible, rendering precise measurement and meaningful understanding moot. So, little can be said beyond corroborations of anecdotal evidence, although the utility value of such data may be useful for identifying and recognizing genuinely different modes of operating and methods of processing information.
     
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  18. the disguised

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    the distinction between j or p does not exists at all ... j is somewhat equivalent to the factor "conscientiousness" used in five factor analysis.., but it is not a cognitive function it's more of a behavioral aspect only , anybody who has a dominant thinking function tend to be a judger (unless so much extraversion/external undesirable factors may cause some effects on the person")., MBTI is so much popular only because of the use of "Jung's theories"
     
  19. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    nicely said. i pretty much agree with this.
     
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  20. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    I enjoy thinking about personality theory. I find MBTI more credible than say Enneagram or Scionics. When I think about MBTI, I think there are "gaps" in the logic of how it is described, explained. I think there isn't enough emphasis on public (ego driven) persona versus one's inner world which causes differences in how one test's versus one's real cognitive function. We are ever the master's at deluding ourselves!

    I like to jot down notes about the flashes I get when I think about the theory. IRL, I don't apply MBTI to people and say "oh they must be an SJ" or somesuch. I don't think it is a matter of "trust" or not.
     
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